Your house as a school

Congrats! Believe it or not, when you decided to raise your child, you graduated. To teacher. And your home became their class. It only makes sense, right? Where else are they going to learn how to survive? Where else are they going to learn how to eat, sleep, play and conduct themselves in this world?

Step into your role graciously, lovingly, and curiously. It’s an entirely different way of living. And maybe you’re thinking, “How would I know what to teach?” But check this out - you are the best teacher for what you have been assigned to teach. You have been placed here, maybe strategically and maybe chaotically, and your child has chosen you to be their teacher and parent.

Don’t worry, the curriculum in your house is not so complex. That comes naturally. It’s just the lesson plans, intellectual prep, and organization you have to work on! No big deal! The emphasis should not be on what you do all day, but on how you do it. There’s that mindful parenting - the intentionality behind your actions, your words, and your behavior.

It’s like when you throw a party or host a guest. You don’t just prepare and hope for the best. You:

  • Put away your stuff

  • Buy flowers to cheer up the place

  • Prepare appropriate food

  • Shave or get a manicure

  • Make a thoughtful itinerary

It’s kind of like raising a child in your home - intentionally planning for a special event (life, baby!) but like, every day. You:

  • Make sure your home is safe and accommodating

  • Buy equipment to carry and care for your child

  • Take care of yourself so you have energy and strength

  • Speak about yourself and others with kindness

  • Stay aware of the needs of others

Whew, I know, it can seem exhausting. That is why it’s so important to listen to your body and take breaks, delegate responsibility and say no when you need to. But as your child watches and learns from you and they grow skills and vocabulary, you realize that you can get to a point where you've implemented enough sustainable caregiving (and relationship and emotional health) habits that parenting comes organically. Dare we say, it even gets easier. And you can take on the role of the teacher not as a terrifying or confusing task, but as an exciting, interesting process of experimentation.

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